Whose Prayers are Answered?

We have had our first snow of the season. There were only 3 or 4 inches, but it was wet and melted away fairly quickly. Thank you, Lord! Much more moisture is needed to return the land to normal. Please keep praying for rain.

Several days this week were spent cleaning out excess “stuff” from the ranch buildings. With the projected closing date nearing, we hope to be able to bring that part of our lives to a conclusion and move on. As mentioned in a previous column, change isn’t always easy, but change will come. It is up to us to make the best of it.

As I ask you to pray for rain, and as I believe we need also to pray for our country in this election year, there is a thought that I must share. We must understand that only God can answer prayer, and also, that he only answers the prayers of his children.

I realize I may be getting into controversial territory with this, but I believe the Bible confirms it.

In the Old Testament we read this: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14). Notice the requirements for God’s hearing their prayers: humility, confession of sin, repentance and seeking Him. Other conditions for answered prayer include obedience to God’s word, faith in the Lord and obedience to his word, among others.

There was a point in Israel’s history when they became so far removed from God, that he would not hear prayers on their behalf. (Jeremiah 7:16).

In John’s gospel, there is the story of a man whose blindness was healed by Jesus. To the Pharisees who disbelieved his story, the man said, “We know that God does not listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who does his will” (John 9:31).

So, when we offer to pray for someone, or for a certain situation, we need to understand that God answers the prayers of his people. I’m not sure he answers the prayers of others, except the prayers of the one who prays to receive Jesus as his or her Savior.

God hears and answers the prayers of his children. Are you one of his?

Just thinking,
Pastor Jerry

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